Copyright 1998 by Gregory and Maria Pearse 

A Requiem for Cinema
"Fin de Cinéma."
(the end of "Weekend" by Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)


   Cinema as an art form is dead. It has been dead for some years now (although NOT corresponding to the timing of Jean-Luc Godard's famous statement.) Cinema's official death can arguably be linked to the passing of the legendary Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, who almost single-handedly kept the pureflame of cinema art alive. With the subsequent death of Sergei Paradjanov, the "retirements" of Ingmar Bergman and Robert Bresson and the recent death of Akira Kurosawa,there no longer seems to be anyone out there willing to answer the true calling of cinema as a spiritual art form, as a way of seriously seeking and probing into the great questions of existence (the one possible exception being the film "Mother and Son" by Alexander Sokurov.) 
   Perfectly reflecting the present state of humanity, the cinema of today has moved past the great questions of existence and into capturing life as an adventure, as a thrill. Thus genuine seeking has been replaced by thrill-seeking (i.e. the stimulation of the senses.) And the general trend is towards greater and greater thrill-seeking as more of the spiritual deadness sets in. Is there no end to the gargantuan amounts of trivial, sordid matter filling every neighborhood movie screen and every household television set!? The question of what cinema could have evolved into now seems almost pointless in the wake of its wreckless demise. Fortunately, there is still a large handful of truly worthwhile seeking films, which have been made in years past (most available on video), to make cinema a powerful tool for probing into the meaning of our existence. 
   In the cinema of today, however, the general public is swept along into the most indolent mode of living: indulging their personal dreams, fantasies and wishes as a substitute for seeking out the true answers to the questions of life beyond the visible boundary. And how much more pleasant it is to engage one’s imagination than to undertake a serious search for answers to the agonizing questions of one’s spirit! 
   As Jean-Luc Godard stated in his 1987 film "King Lear": 


"We're in a time now, when movies,
and more generally art, have been lost,
do not exist. And must somehow be re-invented."

 
     This can now be extended even further: What must be re-invented is our entire concept of humanity, our whole way of thinking and being - because only a TRANSFORMED HUMANITY can re-invent movies and art. The way to this necessary transformation is pointed in a book of New Knowledge, "IN THE LIGHT OF TRUTH: THE GRAIL MESSAGE" by Abd-ru-shin. As for the cinema of today, it is no longer necessary to speak of a “thriller” genre, because every movie coming out is a thriller of one kind or another, or else it could not have even been made. It is only in this light that the cinema of today can be viewed and reviewed: no longer as art, but as mere craft. 
 

.